Photography Goals for 2024


Several of our Masters of Photography have emphasized the significance of goal setting in advancing their craft. Many feel that the mental exercise of setting photography goals acts as a guiding light in the expansive realm of creative expression, providing a structured pathway to improvement. 

With clear objectives in mind, photographers can work with purpose and direction rather than aimlessly. As the legendary Yankees coach Yogi Berra once said, “If you don’t know where you are going, you might not get there.” Whether the aim is to master a new technique, delve into a particular genre, or exhibit work in shows, setting goals offers a roadmap for growth and success. Additionally, goal setting cultivates a sense of accountability, motivating photographers to step out of their comfort zones and persevere through challenges.


In episode 5 of his masterclass, National Geographic, conservationist, wildlife and art photographer Paul Nicklen advises writing down your goals along with the potential obstacles you might encounter. Then, think about solutions for each problem. This list can serve as a roadmap to refer to regularly whenever you need guidance. You can check his Masterclass here.

Paul Nicklen

The business world has developed a number of frameworks that could perhaps also be applied to personal artistic development, for example the “SMART” framework where each goal needs to meet the following standards:

  • Specific: The what, why, and how of the goal should be clear
  • Measurable: It should be quantifiable. And there should be well-defined criteria for measuring progress
  • Achievable: The goal setter should be capable of achieving the goal using the available resources and current skill set
  • Relevant: The goal should align with the larger photography goals. Set a hierarchy of goals.
  • Timely: Establish the goal within a defined timeframe 

It’s in this spirit that we asked all our students if they had set goals for themselves for 2024 and the number of replies was overwhelming! As we’re at the middle of the year we thought it’d be interesting to share some of your replies.


Selected Goals of Master of Photography Students for 2024

“My biggest goal for this year is to begin homing in on my style. Right now I feel like my photos are a bit all over the place and I would love to get to a point where my photos have more of a “signature look” to them (like when you look at an Ansel Adams and can tell right away it’s an Ansel Adams)”



“I’m working on a project to record life on and around Camberwell Green (London SE5) where I live. My plan was to get out onto the street every day, which I’ve not kept to but I am happy with how it is going; need to get out more though. My street photography definitely improved last year and I have some good portraits, which is a good starting point”



“The umbrella goal I have for 2024 is to continue to improve my photography and videography skills to become a better storyteller. I just set (my camera ) up for video, excited to learn how to shoot in log and start to capture underwater video. So far I have just been using it for pictures (above and below the water). I’ve done a couple of photo stories, but they were always created to apply to a grant/competition, so one of my goals this year is to do more photo stories that I plan out and execute without there being an impending deadline I need to meet. I am lucky that I get to tell stories at my job, so I think that won’t be a problem to achieve! I also have a short documentary that I want to develop and shoot this year and I would say that is my biggest goal for the year”. 



“As I set my goals for 2024, I aspire to network with fellow photographers and gain opportunities to explore diverse locations for capturing compelling images. While skills are crucial, I believe the right environment, timing, and people are pivotal in expanding our photographic horizons, especially since travel is important in my creative process.

Photography is not just a passion; it’s a means through which I aim to narrate my personal story. Achieving a balance between my professional life and photography is a constant endeavor. I aim to convey a narrative that authentically reflects my identity and the essence of my experiences.

In pursuit of this, I’ve initiated a personal project in its early stages. This project requires dedicated time and effort to develop a series of photographs and accompanying journals capturing my personal journey. I am eager to learn how to formulate a comprehensive plan for this endeavor and refine the art of storytelling to convey my narrative effectively”


  1. Re-dedicate myself to getting out – camera in hand.  Also, just take my camera with me more often whenever and wherever I go.
  2. Create some photo album books for myself, and maybe to give as gifts to family and friends.  How I organize these is unsure, but I’m thinking of creating books of places that I love:  West Texas, Texas Coast, Austin (where I live) and the surrounding Texas Hill Country.  Maybe some books about places I’ve traveled to including stories about the places.
  3. In addition, I want to print my favorite photos in a fairly large format (12×18), and put them in a large binder with handwritten notes about what makes the photo special to me.
  4. I’d like to rekindle my love of film, and explore different films for my vintage Hasselblad.



“I would love to get some of the books I’ve created published. I am also working on a new book. I also need to spend more time out in nature”



“This year my goal is to leave my day job and go full time freelance. I first got into photography because I was inspired by travel. I’d like to get back to that and explore jobs within the travel and hospitality industry and beyond. A side project is to make my Instagram page more aesthetically pleasing. I’m always inspired by pages that have a consistent look to them. Mine is all over the place at the moment”



“I have a goal to document the human condition, particularly the people who were left having to live under the red line of tenderness. There was a great stigma with these kind of people having rough circumstances and the struggles that my subjects had to endure during their existence. I believe this project can show how I have brushed shoulders with homeless people and my surreal beautiful time I spent with my subjects, I could represent the tremendous emotional weight for my self photographing these portraits and that’s when I feeling the most fulfilled.

It is a powerful spiritual iconography by which I intend to give them a glimmer of light in their eyes, to bring joy to their broken hearts, to give them hope, to honor them for surviving the cruel struggles they have been through, to make them believe that they matter, that they are a human being, and that they are not forgotten”



“This year I want to take photos with wildlife. And my goal is to learn to do it safely and respectfully. I’d also like to start building a side hustle, taking lifestyle photos of clients (primarily outdoor, wilderness) where I live in Tofino.”


My goals are to:

–  increase the percentage of sharp photos of moving animals: including cheetah accelerating as they hunt, & birds in flight;

–  ensure I have the correct depth of field – I’m trying to understand hyperfocal length so that I use this when photographing from a reasonable distance (I think);

–  ensure that my Sony’s animal eye tracking is doing what it should be doing!



“My photography goals for this year are to finish my photobook from my last holidays in Japan, photograph Carneval in my village and also the Easter Week “Semana Santa”. I will not use my 24-70mm, but only my 85mm, to get me out of my comfort zone and to try something new.”



“My photography goals and focus in 2024 are finding a balance between honoring and respecting humanity’s stories and learning how to intelligently capture the best images to share the important and most interesting parts of those stories”



“Some time down the road I would like to self-publish my second street photography book. The first one was done three years  ago. This time I would put even greater emphasis on pairing the photos, on finding some clever or amusing ways for the image on each side to speak to one other.”


“A goal would be to try to vary the perspectives of my shots. Looking back at what I’ve done the last few years, I’ve come to realise that they’re mostly eye level mid-distance shots, kinda a small human figure against some interesting background. I want try something different, either come closer to a bigger subject or varying the level from where I take the shots”



To explore colour further, increasing my sensitivity to colours in the observation of the scenes”



“My photographic goals for this year are to renew my portfolio, make a web site and apply for grant or to NGO that can support my upcoming project with Colombia indigenous at the end of the year”



“I will be taking photographs of three important places along three wide, long rivers; the Essequibo River where my mother grew up, the Demerara River where I was born and lived till the age of 12, and the Berbice River where my father was born and grew up to adulthood. These are places of great change and past struggle from the time of the plantation and slavery from the African Continent  followed by indentured labour from the Indian Sub-continent. Now Guyana is being exploited by the big multinational oil company EXXON and boasts being one of the richest developing countries in the world with a GDP that has sky-rocketed.  I do not know what I will find, but I hope that I have the sensitivity to see, to think and to wonder.

They include a trip to Manhattan in one week. I’ve never been there in winter and as my other hobby is building fine furniture I have specific pieces of furniture at the Met that I want to photograph details of as well as street photography especially at night as this town never sleeps”



“I don’t have goals so much as trying to take steps with my photographic art. It is not a clear slope for anybody, you have to leave rules and conventions beside the trail, assuming there even is one, and try to capture what you see.

My struggle is to get real photographs of the world. Yes, yes all photographs are real, God knows there are millions of them online every day. Maybe you get five in a lifetime that ring true. Ansel Adams maybe had 7 or 8. HCB 20-30, Eggleston 20-30, Moriyama 10—pick your favorites.The hard part is to try to not be boring. Dirty kids smiling in Brazil—boring. Old men in India with every whisker in focus—boring, colorful cosplay portraits at a fair—boring, another blue and orange sunset—most boring of all! Let’s not forget another street shot with an advertising sign smiling down at a weird walker—boring. Every photographer has to make these kinds of images to learn the art, make many of them for years. Then they throw down the last ones and say, “My God, is this all there is?”

So that’s the dilemma, how to get real images that speak to you and others, make them stop and look, stay with them. The ultimate fools errand?” 




“My goal is trying to, understand more the light”



“My goal is to complete my first Photography Qualification and then progress to the Diploma!

Learning from the Masters has moved my craft forward so much!”


Thank you to all you who have shared your goals. They certainly have ignited our creativity at Masters of Photography and we hope they will inspire all our readers to think about theirs. There is still plenty of time until the end of the year to start your list!

How are you doing personally with your goals?

Here’s to a second half of the year full of creativity, learning, and capturing incredible moments!

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